The 4 Habits of All Successful Relationships – Jonathan Taylor-Cummings, Andrea Taylor-Cummings Book Summary

The 4 Habits of All Successful Relationships – Jonathan Taylor-Cummings, Andrea Taylor-Cummings | Free Book Summary

The 4 Habits of All Successful Relationships – Jonathan Taylor-Cummings, Andrea Taylor-Cummings

Four ways to improve relationships.

How To Have Successful Relationships: The Big Ideas Expanded

  • Focus on building Relationship Intelligence, not only Emotional Intelligence:
  • Relational Intelligence – our ability to connect, and stay connected, with the people around us.
  • Emotional Intelligence – awakening (or improving) our ability to handle our own emotions and how they impact the people around us.

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Habit #1: BE CURIOUS, not critical

This habit is all about developing our self-awareness (and other-awareness!) through understanding fundamental differences, learning to give each other ‘space and grace’ to shine in our own strengths, and overcoming the frustration of unmet expectations.

Habit #2: BE CAREFUL, not crushing

This one is all about self-management, building strong skills in managing conflict, learning to treat each other well no matter how heated the argument, and working toward genuine resolutions so that relationships are strengthened and not damaged through conflict.Free book, podcast summaries

Habit #3: ASK, don’t assume

This habit is all about developing the social skills to build mutual trust and respect in relationships by clarifying values, having courageous conversations about things that really matter to us when necessary, and overcoming the hurdles of mistrust and distance that can creep into relationships.

Habit #4: CONNECT, before you correct

This one is all about learning to build great rapport, warmth, and connection in relationships by consistently communicating appreciation and love in meaningful ways and overcoming the hurdle of feeling unvalued because of poor communication.

Manage the Emotional Bank Account

  • Successful relationships are built on a healthy emotional bank account.
  • You need to be aware of the behaviors that result in deposits or withdrawals from the bank account.
  • When you have the balance right, it creates a healthy foundation for good relationships.
  • If you have a challenging relationship, focus on topping up the emotional bank account first.

When the bank account is low, you need to ask this fundamental question:

‘Do I really care enough to put in the effort to maintain or improve this relationship?’

Successful Relationship Quadrant

The status of your relationships can be viewed from two dimensions:

Motivation: How motivated are you to maintain or improve this relationship?

Ability: How able are you to maintain or improve this relationship?

Mutual Satisfaction and Frustration

Most healthy relationships go through cycles between mutual satisfaction and frustration from time to time, which is perfectly fine as long as you keep learning and improving your understanding of each other and don’t get stuck or set up camp in the frustration zone.


In times of desperation, the oxygen in the relationship is running low, and typically people are ill-equipped to breathe life back into it on their own.

Desperation is toxic. Differences are misunderstood, needs are mostly unmet, and the likely experience is one of tension, frequent conflicts, and an unending cycle of unmet expectations followed by disappointment, followed by negative reactions on either side, causing the relationship to spiral downward.


The Isolation Quadrant is a place where no one wins. People “check out” physically and/or mentally. They leave companies. They leave their families. They leave friendships behind.

Key actions for a successful relationship:

  • Commitment to ongoing efforts in building your understanding of each other.
  • Being more understanding in your responses.
  • Choosing to act and show appreciation in meaningful, specific ways

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